Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers's Blog

(And notice apostrophe "s" in the title.)


Elsa said...

Good morning,

Thanks for this. She was news on Dutch television yesterday.

Hoots said...

I hope you realize, Elsa, that this is not a real weblog. Harriet Miers's Blog is a joke site which is someone's idea to have fun with this woman's nomination. American politics must look very crazy to someone from another country. I got the picture from Google images, not the site.

If you read the "content" of the site, and the comments, remember that it is all a big made-up collective joke that just got started yesterday.

Elsa said...

Good morning,

I did not realize indeed. We saw here short on television and I have no idea whether she is capable or not. Of course we also have our jokes as part of the "politic". Anyhow I will read the "contents" carefully.

As I speak for myself I donot know very much about American politics; except for the news we see on CNN and the Bush administration. But that is what happens as we see, but the real American politic is not known to me unfortunately. The Dutch are always wondering about the elections which cost millions of Dollars; which could maybe spent in a more effective way?

Hoots said...

I thought you might not recognize satire. It is very easy to misinterpret what we read from other countries and cultures. That seems to be a significant part of our (mis)understandings in the Middle East, doesn't it?

Likewise, if you made reference to Dutch politics and mentioned "four pillars" the majority of Americans would have no idea what you were talking about. (Not here, but sometime, I would be interested in your comments on pillarization.)

Obscene amounts spent on electoral politics in America is, indeed, a great waste. But it is nothing when compared to the amounts never noticed in the national budget. At the moment there is a debate about fat funds authorized by Congress in a national highway bill channeling vast amounts of "federal" money to the states. Eveybody knows that these funds are not needed (we call it "pork") but the states are too selfish to return any of it, even though two hurricanes have created a great unexpected financial burden for the country.

Elsa said...

In the 20th century pillarisation was very strong; our society was indeed divided. In fact there were 4 pillars:
Catholic; protestant. Socialists and liberal. Separate from that there were small pillars like communists and some protestant religious groups. Although they had their own social institutions, there was communication and discussion for instance in politics.
It was in fact a consequence of the struggle for emancipation by protestants and catholics and it was rather unique in the world.
Pillarisation was also a strong phenomen in broadcasting. As a catholic it was not common to be a member of the VPRO which was and is the free thinking part. And still in broadcasting it never disappeared totally.,

Even going to an other hospital than your religion was out of the question.
In most circumstances it is disappeared now, however there is an other scene in the pillarisation.
Today you see the moslim society who are in the minority, struggling for a place in our society, Many of them would really achieve this and an other part don’t even want this.
And yet they have their own churches, school, broadcasting etc. which is quite bad for the integration in our society. It is the kind of pillarisation which not lead to cooperation.
Even most of these younger people do not want to be associated with the Dutch society; maybe the next generation will have other thoughts about this.
For now they are struggling to be accepted by the Dutch society, which is not easy; and since they are not very powerfull they stay together.

But it is a right, it is not forbidden to have your own pillar and community but as a consequence we now have an Islamic pillar.
Holland is a multicultural country an most of the immigrants have integrated.
You will face the strongest pillarisation still in churches, which is rather logical.

As for schools, we use the term: Black Schools, (zwarte scholen).
They are choosen by most immigrant parents and there are schools with hardly any other than immigrant children. In my opinion this has gone too far; in this way this generation will not grow up in our society but in their own society.

So you see pillarisation was disappeared but appears now again due to non acceptance fm our side.

As long as societies are struggling for their existance they stay together; if the necessity is not there anymore secularisation can find it's way.

Hoots said...

Thank you for those comments.
I can see that many of the same problems that we struggle with here are not unique. It seems the whole world is wrestling with the same issues that we like to think of as an "American" experiment: many cultures and faiths living peacefully together.

I'm not sure I understand your reference to "broadcasting." Does that refer to television and radio, or something else?

Something told me that if I mentioned pillarization I would get a response.

Elsa said...

Hi Hoots,

Sorry, yes with broadcasting I ment Radio, TV etc.
In Holland we have several public channels, as we call it and several commercial channels, not as much as in the USA but still for a little country its a lot.

The public channels were very much suffering from pillarisation.
These channels were often religion related. And in a way they still are; however not that much any more with the new generation growing up.

In the future the whole system will be turned up side down by our government, the media administration.
Which means that the public channels have to broadcast more news/sport and less films and games.
Televisiongames are really popular in Holland. But in the future this is meant to be for the commercial channels. I think it will be a disaster; a lot of programs for children will disappear etc. etc.
But we will see how its going to be in 2007.

Our country is small and of course we still have to get used to the entrance of many other cultures etc. We are living with 16million people in this country; that really crowded I must say.

Pillarization or "verzuiling" as we say is still a big issue.